One Man Walking

2008-05-20 Mysterious ways

May 20th, 2008 · 2 Comments

No I’m not referring to the way I poorly attempted to mimic the dance moves of the Matinee music video while listening to it on my iPod, though that was pretty mysterious. I refer to the fact that this morning I spent a fair bit of time composing a whiny post about how I’m approaching it all wrong and then I came across a man who changed all that. The much reduced moany bit is below, first I’ll tell you about Nohashi-san.

Nohashi-san's feast 

I first saw him as a distant figure behind a lamppost. I saw him pick up his bag and swing it onto his back. It was a proper backpack, waist-belt and all. Another walker? It seems like a strange place to find one but as I got closer I could see his shoes, proper trail shoes! And sure enough he’s a walker too. From Kobe (the big bridge I was at 5 days ago) he’s heading to somewhere north of Tokyo. Mt Chokai or something that sounds like that. 59 and retired in March he’s about 5ft tall and wears those big wrap-around shades over the top of normal glasses. We walked together for the rest of the day. Talking when I had had enough time to rehearse a sentence in my head. He was heading to Seki and I had planned to go on a few kilometers to where my map showed a park, but I figured he knew a thing or two and sure enough he found a spot here. First we walked a bit of the Tokkaido, the old post road. Parallel to route 1 I’d have completely missed it without him. It’s lined with traditional old buildings and imitation new ones.
Tokkaido old street 

We’ve camped at a road-station where weary drivers can take a nap, buy more caffeine and use the facilities. Unfortunately the basic lounge area is locked at night so I’m cowboy camping on the Astroturf nearby. Earlier he took off to the supermarket and brought back a feast. Sashimi, egg-rolls, okonomiyaki and more. I’m well fed yet again and only two more days until Nagoya.
sumo ring 

Ok here’s the moan. I have approached this the wrong way. After re-entering society from the PCT I felt unsettled and mistook my longing for the trail as a general wanderlust. I still love to travel but my the joy is not in the walking. The joy is in meeting new people, experiencing new things and going to interesting places. I don’t do that very well at a steady 5kph (today being an obvious exception). Staying with Gillian and learning more about JETs was invaluable. Meeting Ohashi-san and his family was magic. I’m really looking forward to the four other visits I have planned but the walking part is getting me down. If I ever announce a plan to try something like this again (the JMT being an exception) someone needs to put my feet in a vice and tighten it until I come to my senses.

Word of the day: michi-no-eki = road station

Distance today: 35km

Key:
hiking  ·  photo

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Caitlin // May 23, 2008 at 7:00 am

    we should plan a JMT trip. i would love love love to go back and do those high passes again.

  • 2 Lance Blyde // May 26, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    Craig,

    Mt Chokai is near Masami’s House. They snow ski on it and it is near their family home. (Unless there is more than one Mt Chokai)

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